Different Strokes

That was the apparent theme of our camping weekend with two other T@DA families.  It would be hard to imagine more different approaches to camping than the three of us.  We had hoped to have a fourth T@DA join us, but family issues prevented them from coming until a surprise appearance (sans T@DA) on Sunday morning.

Ellalou and Ray are the most recent owners, having purchased their unique turquoise and silver T@DA this past summer.20131013_105025 Theirs is a more spartan model, having no built-in microwave, hot water heater, shower or screen door, although it shares the same floor plan as the rest.  Their camping style seems to match – they have (not yet, at least) not crammed every little corner and cubby hole with stuff.  They do have a crockpot and a small portable microwave aboard, but no other big items that I remember.  The turquoise is eye-catching, and everyone in the campground who passed by our little T@DA compound (“Holy cow! It’s an impoundment,” I overheard one passerby say) took a photo of it.  They are still adding and changing stuff – trying to figure out the best configuration for them, and how to best utilize their space.  It’s also a bit easier for them to keep the amount of ‘stuff’ they carry to a minimum because they both work, and haven’t spent more than a week at a time on the road. (yet)

At the other end of the spectrum are Sandi and John.  Entering their white and silver T@DA, it was amazing for me to realize that they had the same basic camper as ours – it was that different.  Their T@DA has decor – curtains, a Halloween chandelier, fishing photos, and pennants galore.  It was warm & homey – Sandi said that she wanted her T@DA to look like the cottages she remembered as a kid.  Well done!20131013_15484920131013_154903

They keep their table permanently folded down into a couch or lounging area.  Sandi has enough tableware to stage a class reunion!  They also travel with two crockpots, electric coffeemaker, electric frying pan, and a huge electric cooler, as well as a campstove and grill.  It’s all very well organized, but it’s a lot of stuff.  In addition, their awning was festooned with lights.20131012_103202  Naturally, we made their campsite our dining and campfire headquarters.  Sandi and John are natural hosts.

John and I are somewhere in the middle. 20131013_102244 We’ve probably made the most modifications, storage-wise to suit our needs.  Since we plan to camp for months at a time, utility is our primary concern.  We also have no electric appliances – we make coffee (lots of it) in a pour-over Melitta carafe, and have removed our microwave.  We cook and grill everything outside, and I’d have no idea how to crockpot a dinner.  Have to admit that the Fireball looked pretty institutional compared to both other units.  It suits us.

We were sad that Cathie and Jay were unable to bring their navy/white T@DA for our ‘inspection’.  They purchased theirs about the same time as we did, and from our conversation, it sounds as though our camping styles might be somewhat similar – camping in National Parks and public facilities often.  They have also purchased solar panels which they are trying out, and it was great to have someone to compare notes with.

While everyone else went ‘junking’, or antiquing, we took a hike on Saturday.  Short, steep, and scenic.  Lunch at the summit.  All good.  Sunday, John and I cycled out to Everett Dam State Park, and the region beyond. 20131013_13202720131013_134631 It was nearly a perfect ride – a bit of civilized riding on paved road, about eight miles of hard-packed gravel road, then some serious up & down hills on pavement.  Interesting sights, and some well-needed exercise.20131013_12524220131013_13421120131013_164441

We parted company with Ellalou and Ray, and Cathie and Jay – all from Vermont, on Sunday.  We left Monday morning, as did Sandi and John – they’re headed home to the Boston area.  It was great to meet fellow travelers.

We’re camped in a small, near-the-expressway campground west of Albany tonight.  It’s as close as we could get to Cooperstown – tomorrow we’re headed in to spend the day at the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Depending on the weather, we’ve got between four and six nights before we roll back into Grand Rapids.  The weather forecast isn’t great for the next few days, so we may just hunker down and drive home if we can’t figure out a good reason to hang out in New York and Ohio for a few additional days.

Not ready for the reality of fall yardwork and the approach of seriously cold Michigan weather.

17 thoughts on “Different Strokes

  1. It was great to camp with everyone and especially a surprise visit from Cathie & Jay! Please consider the BRR, as you know you’ll have lots to blog about and lot’s of similar trailers! Also it’s a beautiful region of our country!
    P.S. You should see what I do to the trailer for Christmas!
    Sandi

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  2. Those little trailers are pretty cool, colorful too, I may end up with something like them someday.

    I’m looking forward to your report on the Baseball Hall of Fame, it’s the only sports museum that I would consider stopping at.

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  3. What fun to see the othe T@DAs. Isn’t it wonderful how infinitely customizable those little rigs are? I, too, love Sandi’s–but I would want your woodwork. :)

    Such a beautiful campsite and scenery.

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  4. We had a delightful time meeting you! Nice capture of our weekend. One minor editorial comment, our small microwave is actually a toaster/oven and this is the first time I brought a crock pot camping. It was great to see the differences and cool modifications in your fireball. No doubt, you’ll see some changes when next we meet in campground nirvana—Raccoon Holler perhaps. Safe travels.

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    • You know….I thought when I was writing this that it was a toaster oven, but then thought nah…a little creative license, I guess. You are inspiring me to take the wheel. Got to be able to go out on my own.

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      • It was a real confidence booster to tow and back up the T@DA. I do feel empowered to take it wherever I want and that’s a good feeling. We could do a girls T@DA/T@B event; not as glitzy as the Sisters on the Fly or
        Glampers but just as much fun. I also checked with PaHaQ’ue and they will make the visor with turquoise trim so I see a purchase in my future.

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  5. Isn’t it neat how folks can put their own signature on the way they outfit their rigs? We can’t wait to link up with some T@B campers to share ideas of how to personalize our camping experience!

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